23 March 2006
So I took my acoustic guitar for a session on the lawn of our residence. And I did it again: I recorded some. This has of course been "tubed" here.
16 Blocks with Bruce Willis is not an “awesome” movie but it was a nice way to spend 1hr45 despite some easy to guess plot twists because some other you couldn’t see. It’s a good thriller that delivers what it promises, in line with the trailer (I hate pretentious trailers for movies that are worth nothing).
So then I rushed to the airport, waited, waited and waited because the flight was delayed. The wait was also partly my fault: I wanted to make sure to be there when they arrive, so I was there 15 minutes after the expected landing time, which is way too early.
The way back was another airport adventure: I thought taking the 405 and 10 would be faster than the 1 around midnight. That’s certainly true usually, but not when the 405 is closed up to La Tijera…
The Ocean Lodge motel manager had nicely let the key at the (closed) reception so there was no adventure there (relief!). When once installed and having received the little surprises I had for them, my parents (and beloved sister!) were up for their first fast food. At 2am, I drove Santa Monica Blvd hoping to find a decent burger and after a few blocks, we luckily drove by a Carl Jr’s which was still open.
And now it’s 3am, I’m back to camp (I can’t call the place where I live an apartment anymore) and I’m going to sleep. Perhaps counting blocks will help?
22 March 2006
I don’t want to turn my blog in a movie critique (I would both bore and hate myself) but quickly, let’s state that: The scenario, the plot and the character are great, well found and well thought. The cast is perfect. And blowing up English monuments and places of power is jubilatory even if you don’t share my French citizenship. :) I also loved the parallel with and use of Guy Fawkes. This creates overall a quite coherent story and storyline.
Downsides? I have a problem to locate this in time and put together a chronology of the events ante-plot (for this movie this is a bit bothering and got me to worry a bit too much). [potential spoiler] One other issue is that we don’t know how long the heroin is sequestrated and how badly she is treated. This is an important part of the movie and as a spectator, I was left wondering on this which affects the credibility of the plot. She is shaved on day 1 but then stay shaved. Also, when she is released, she displays perfectly depilated arm pits which is complete nonsense (even if I understand and almost applaud the esthetical aspect of this).
Damn, I have to stop with the downsides, it’s already longer than the other part and I loved the movie. I guess that’s typical: we speak about what could be fixed instead of what’s great and all the more so as we love something. Otherwise, I wouldn’t bother and just say it’s crap.
So, V is really a must-see and deserves a W. I’m sure I’ll go see it again with Raquel if she hasn’t seen it before her next trip here.
Warning! Bad joke below – You can stop here. Well I say “Double You”, but it was just me :) Stupid joke I know… I like to go to the movies alone. It almost never happens because I’m very likely to go with my wife and since I arrived I have always found someone to join me. So, I guess a movie on my own is one of these small pleasures in life because it’s so rare for me.
I had no “to do” list coming here but if I had one, I could check this line.
Anyway, I thought this was a great opportunity to play with the hot geek toy of the moment: YouTube. It’s funny how I found vSocial unattractive a few months back and how I have comparatively been seduced by YouTube in seconds as a visitor. As a user, I was shocked by how simple and fast this service is. As I already said, I wonder what the business model is but as a direct beneficiary of someone’s madness of giving this for free to all, I say “wow and thank you”.
So here is my playlist for the videos shot this afternoon. I think I might get addicted to “tubing”*.
*: I have not yet read a specific word for “uploading videos online” but I’m sure that’ll be something like that.
And what the heck? Let’s embed it here! So simple.
Based with the only clue that it was somewhere near Mulholland Drive, we ended up touring the Hollywood Hills in search for the sign, hard to see at night because it is not lit anymore. We found it but couldn’t drive as close as we wished. These hills are tricky in the dark without a map. :)
So, I was playing with Google Maps tonight in a vain and desperate attempt to locate a place where I could listen to descent jazz to rescue my evening – ruined by a stubborn doorman who wouldn’t accept anything but a passport as a proof of over-21 identification for foreign patrons. And I found the sign!
Here it is, just for you, from the sky: the Hollywood sign.
21 March 2006
First thing first, I have updated the “Joshua Tree” story that I originally posted in January and embedded the video in the page thanks to YouTube.com on which some exchange student was kind enough to post it.
By the way, youtube is really getting traction. That’s amazing, especially as there is no advertising on it. I really feel the pain for the other guys in the video hosting game: just have a look through this alexaholic comparison with vSocial for instance.
Now that Peter is gone, our apartment in the graduate residence is really feeling empty. It was already so since we have been selling our furniture over craigslist over the week-end (contact me if you are looking for a queen bed :).
And so, yes, this is the end of my term at UCLA. It officially ended last night with my ultimate class of Managerial Interpersonal Communication. This end of term has a nostalgic feel for most exchange students, many of whom are reaching the end of their MBA studies with this term. I will have a block week class when I return to London in 3 weeks but I sure share the feeling. There will be more reasons for good times and nostalgia with some partying tonight: our final diner between exchange students. It will have to be a softer version of last week general MBA-end-of-term celebrations – or there will be Johnny Cash tattooed on my liver soon.
Note: Riff Raff is the opening title on “If you want blood”.
19 March 2006
Have a look for the photo set on Flickr.
Damn, I can't believe it's already been 10 weeks.
Meanwhile, the English version of my blog was celebrating its first “birthday” – I actually re-launched it March 10, 2005. And Aroundthedot.com is now in its third year.
I had to invite crazy people on this post to celebrate this, right?
So, Happy Dot Day! :)
Actually, that's funny nobody came with that idea before, especially as advertising in already there in - at least male - restrooms with different variations (from the metal band sticker to the MBA event flyer).
So, here I give to you, through Springwise, the Coolertising, i.e. advertising space on office water coolers bottles.
Any thought on how refreshing this is? Comment!
Update: are Japanese once again trendsetters?
12 March 2006
National Geographic reports that “Scientists found the small, blind crustacean last March during a deep-sea expedition some 900 miles (1,500 kilometers) south of Easter Island, which lies off the coast of Chile”.
The Kiwa Hirsuta (from Kiwa, the goddess of crustaceans in Polynesian mythology and hirsute for its hairy claws) has scientific wondering about its hairiness… Well, I guess it’s maybe cold down there. Or perhaps it’s because there is no beauty parlour in the South Pacific and it can’t get a depilation like more fashionable westernised crabs…
No kidding, there is one question that is left unanswered after a quick search: is it comestible? After all, it was discovered by French, so they must have given it a thought. Apparently, its habitat is toxic and the hair could be used to host bacteria to filter toxic minerals (or some like that), so maybe it’s too toxic to be eaten.
Anyway, it would be nice to know because there is potentially a market, using Japanese restaurants as an outlet and surfing on the momentum Japanese food has gained in the past decade. Kiwa Hirsuta can sound very Japanese, its toxicity makes it potentially very attractive (think Fugu) and it’d be looking good in the middle of a colourful sushi plate: The ultimate trendy delicacy that you can sell at the price of gold – like Parmesan*.
Anyone wanna fund my Yeti Lobster exploitation venture?
*: If I remember correctly, Parmesan is the only cheese for which price has parity with gold… I couldn’t find sources online to back this up.
11 March 2006
Tiki, Tiki, Tiki by the re-imagineering team.
And for the others, let's say that it is a nice case study on how blogs and comments can help a company to get closer to its customers...
I made an attempt at a funny comment which in fact is kind of sadly reflecting the true reason why I left France (don’t mind the riots, the poor economy outlook and the incompetent politics fighting over next year’s elections):
Wouldn't it be great if your laptop could plug in the network wherever you need and are without you doing anything more than turning it on - the way your mobile phone does?
No WEP, DNS, IP or JTPWYN error (Just to play with your nerves)...
The geek in me would love that. Then I could go back to my home country which I had to leave to escape being the wireless network administrator for my parents and in-laws... ;)
This also made me think that it could be a wise move to adopt a Chinese kid now, to prepare for the day I’ll be too old to get my nuclear computer running Windows FW (for Finally Working – scheduled 2025, released 2027) to connect to my 64 Tera-byte pan-solar-system satellite DSL (Deep Space Line) access.
And now, back to my distribution channel case on Palm introducing the Palm Café in 2003 to showcase its Zire model and get in touch with new consumer segments.
09 March 2006
I wonder if cardinals got the U2 iPod to match their clothes as the Pope does with a white iPod. Sunday, Holy Sunday. ;)
06 March 2006
Why do I say that? Why potentially hurting the feeling of so many graphically-inclined web developers with this prediction? Because this Business Week article argues its ugly look gives myspace a big edge over competition. And because my dear friend Nicolas (who I am urging to start a blog on its own) sent me this. But then maybe he caught a nasty exotic fever during his Asian trip though he has always had a “f*$k design” attitude for all things web-related.
And this comes just as I am about to launch the new (beautiful) design for my site… Should I go with the default font and bright ugly colours instead?
Note: looking at the pictures of the authors of both mentioned entries can hint you about their motivation… Not that they are ugly themselves (I don’t want to be the judge of that) but they sure look like geeks (you know, much more worried about the kilobyte making a site charging faster or that kind of stuff).